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Mike Ritland      

Former Navy SEAL, NYT Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Mike Ritland joined the US Navy in 1996 and served 12 years as a US Navy SEAL. During that time, he saw action in Operation IRAQI Freedom and numerous special operations missions. A nearby marine mission in particular, had a detailed account of an explosive-detector dog alert to a grenade booby trap hidden in a doorway, saving the lives of the Marines assigned to the mission. Ritland then instantly knew that he wanted to work with similar dogs, and harness their remarkable abilities to defeat the tools of modern warfare. Due to that inspiration, Ritland became a Navy SEAL Multi-purpose canine trainer.

After his service, Mike Ritland founded Trikos International, which specializes in providing working K9s to a multitude of clients. He now has over 15 years experience in importing, breeding, raising, and training multiple breeds of working dogs. With his unique training approach, Ritland has trained thousands of working dogs for real world applications. With this proven success, Trikos International has grown into a global brand, providing private protection K9s for celebrities, private individuals, and working K9’s to government agencies, including:

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)
  • Police Departments across the U.S.

Mike Ritland also founded the Warrior Dog Foundation, a non-profit special operations K9 retirement foundation. The Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving working military K9s, the special operations community, and their families. With the Foundation’s state of the art kennel facility, these dogs are given the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives with the dignity and grace they deserve. The Warrior Dogs are attended to with heartfelt compassion administering to their mental and physical rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.

It is said that the Military still cannot predict who will be the only two candidates in every ten that make it through the brutal Selection process known as BUD/s, to the Elite ranks of the SEAL Teams. What is certain, is that the special few who Never Quit, are changed forever, through a carefully orchestrated process that strips them of every notion about what they are capable of and remakes them. Mike Ritland has rare insights into the process and the Psychology behind creating elite warriors – both two-legged and four-legged. As a past member of Seal Team 3, past instructor at both BUD/s and SQT (Seal Qualification Training), and a Trainer of Elite Special Operations K-9s he shares his story and expertise with humor and openness that keeps his audience engaged from beginning to end.

All of this experience prompted Mike Ritland to write three New York Times Best Selling books: Trident K9 Warriors, Navy SEAL Dogs, and TEAM Dog. In addition to his novels, Ritland also has been featured in numerous other publications such as Town & Country, Police K9 Magazine, K9 Cop Magazine, Working Dog Magazine, SOFREP, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, NYPOST, Men’s Journal, Cesar’s Way, Texas Monthly, and a Reddit AMA.

His expertise has earned Ritland the role of keynote speaker for Purdue University’s Discovery Lecture Series, for Bucknell University, and for various schools for children of all ages across the United States. Conferences across the country have also asked him to present, including Stansberry Conference Series, ESA Security Conference, HITS Training Conference, Police K9 Magazine Conference, K9 Cop Magazine Conference, Working Dog Magazine Conference, California Narcotic Canine Association, and IaAWP Iowa Association of Women Police.

Mike Ritland is not only an accomplished author and speaker, but he has been interviewed by dozens of media affiliates, including ABC, CBS 60-Minutes, CBS 60-Minutes Overtime, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 BOOKTV, Fox News, Fox and Friends, NBC, and PBS. Ritland also has numerous appearances on podcasts, such as The Marilu Henner Show, iHeart RADIO, ITS Tactical, and Team Never Quit.

With his respectable knowledge of all things canine, Mike Ritland has been asked to work with and/or consult with various pet companies like Dogtra, KONG, Oma’s Pride Raw Dog Food, and TEFCO. It’s not all work and no play, for Ritland, though. He and his personal K9 Rico, collaborated with the Xbox crew to create Call of Duty: Ghosts. The video game brings lifelike characters and immersive worlds together on a new, next-generation engine. The dog in Call of Duty works together with his team to fulfill missions.

Most recently, Mike created the MikeRitland.com Team Dog Online Training website launched. This platform provides online dog training to dog owners all across the world. Current community members range from first time puppy owners to well established dog trainers, as there is something for everyone, and Ritland personally interacts with members on the site and answers their questions.

Mike Ritland currently resides in Dallas, Texas and dedicates his time daily to working with his K9s at Trikos International and the Warrior Dog Foundation. When he is not traveling on business, he enjoys spending quality time with each of his dogs, staying fit, playing guitar and perfecting the art of BBQ. Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter.

Speech Topics


Personal Reflections of a Navy SEAL – Pursuing a Life of Excellence

It is said that the Military still cannot predict who will be the only two candidates in every ten that make it through the brutal Selection process known as BUD/s, to the Elite ranks of the SEAL Teams. What is certain, is that the special few who Never Quit, are changed forever, through a carefully orchestrated process that strips them of every notion about what they are capable of and remakes them. Mike Ritland has rare insights into the process and the Psychology behind creating elite warriors – both two-legged and four-legged. As a past member of Seal Team 3, past instructor at both BUD/s and SQT (Seal Qualification Training), and a Trainer of Elite Special Operations K-9s he shares his story and expertise with humor and openness that keeps his audience engaged from beginning to end. An inspirational talk for about setting and achieving goals and what happens when life intervenes. Mike talks about living life with purpose – whether as a Warrior in service to country, staying fit, having a plan to change society to ensure no dogs are unwanted, or making smaller things matter – such as Music, Bourbon and BBQ.

Trident K-9 Warriors: My Tale from the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy Seal K-9s

Adults and young adults alike will enjoy Mike Ritland’s talk about growing up in Iowa, falling in love with dogs and joining the Navy and the elite SEAL teams. The talk includes: the story of Mike’s entry to the military at age 17, how he became an expert in breeding, sourcing and training the exceptional K-9s for Special Operations Forces (SOF), Police and Personal Protection, stories from the front lines of some of the SOF K-9’s he trained and their handlers, and stories about some of the retired K-9s that have been rescued by Warrior Dog Foundation.

The World of Working Dogs (K-9s)

Dogs are contributing to Western societies and helping people in unprecedented ways – the public’s fascination with dogs is at an all-time high. In a talk suited to audiences both young and old, Mike gets down to basics for laypeople who want to understand the Working Dog World. Topics covered include: The human-dog bond, differences between Working Dogs (Multi-Purpose and Single Purpose), Service Dogs & Therapy Dogs, stories of dogs and their handlers, society’s responsibility to these animals.

Transitioning From the Military to the Civilian World– How to keep your SH*T Together and Succeed in Life After Separation

Mike shares his inspiring experience and lessons in leaving the Military after experiencing a lung infection that ended his long-time goal of serving on DEVGRU, challenges and successes in becoming an entrepreneur, inventor and author, starting an internet business and becoming a social media personality. This talk can be tailored for Military/Veteran or Civilian audiences (mature audiences).

Team Dog: Training your Dog the Navy Seal Way

This presentation includes: General Dog Training – Building a bond with your dog as strong as the Warrior Bond- for dog lovers of any age, working dog handler education, delivered in conference format or hands-on workshops

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